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Old 02-17-2003, 08:27 PM   #1
aliki1027
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Broad question about consumers

Just a quick question here, How do consumers contribute to what goes in a car? (Like saftey, performance, AWD, just stuff like that in general)

Im doing this for a school project so any feed back would be greatly appriciated and try to be as detailed as possible.

Thanks everyone
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Old 02-17-2003, 09:31 PM   #2
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I can't give you a profession marketing opinion, but I'd say I know a thing or two.

1. The consumer is what makes a car. Features or standard eqiupment a vehicle offers are defined by the sales of those particular features or similar ones on the amount of vehicles sold. If a car has an unwanted feature, the sales will show it, if something popular like AWD is a offered, chances are the sale will reflect that.

However, the sales aren't a specific indication of what goes into cars, there's very few perfect cars in the consumers eyes so most people will choose what suits their needs best.

The topic is a difficult one, because consumers only have limited involvment in what goes into a vehicle. Manufacturers must take into accoutn endless amounts of statistics and information to produce a vehicle, not to mention image. Volvo dosen't make a $300,000 600 hp V-12 Supercar for the obvious reason that it would not sell given Vovlo's image and target buyers, not to mention the fact that they have no experience in such a market nor the need to. This is an isolated example but I'm sure you'll notice as any person could that companies have images that they try to uphold and keep brand loyalty of its customers.

Another variable put into the mix is innovation. I'm sure you've seen this inherent int he Mini-van craze. In 1983, Plymouth decided to try something new, the Caravan. This one idea accounts from probably half the cars on your block. The consumers said they liekd the minivan and the sales didn't lie. Now there's probably one minivan for every chinese person.

To sum this all up: The consumer factors into all this in the way that they tell manufacturers what they want throguh sales, it's the only proven way, yes you can take surveys and question everyone in the 16+ age group but unless they buy them, you'll never know the real numbers.


That covers the cars as a whole, I'll now get intot he specific features you asked about.

2. Things like Safety performance and features are usually determined once more by sales, but not entirely, innovation pays naother big role. If you take Volvo again (I'm not biased for/against Volvo it just happened to be the first comapny popping into my mind), say at their safety facility in Stockholm (I think's it's Sotckholm) they developed an airbag that was guaranteed to save lives with no consequences, they'd implement it just using the simple concept of common sense. Safety features are not usually consumer chosen since it's safety, if your company can make a safe vehicle, people WILL buy it.

Performance is a little different, that is mostly determined by your target audience as well as your companies image. You don't see 60 hp 3- cyl Ferraris. Performance is usually a nice thing to add to the overall package of a good car, or any car. If you are Joe Nobody, have 2.3 kids and live in Suburbia you'll probably want the safest van, performance takes a third row seat to saftey and cost you choose Van A. However If Comapny B sees that Van A is selling well because of it's features, chances are they'll copy what works and go a little farther, this is your basic competition. Companies need competition in order to keep the consumer happy, or else they could get away with making anything.

In the end, the consumer picks what suits his/her needs (these needs are usually able to be classified in well defined categories) and then tehy buy it. The companies will then put billions into finding out what Joe Nobody needs and how they can make something to better suit his needs, Market research. Based on sales, Company A can find out what Joe likes and what he dosen't.

As for niche manufacturers like Aston Martin, Panoz and Lamborghini, they will do whatever they damn well want since it's the name that sells, the car is an added bonus.


Before you write a report based on my info make sure you get other sources, I wrote this based upon what I've seen/read/learned over the past few years in the world of motorized vehicles, it's not going to be flawless but I don't think i'd be too pretentious in saying it'll help you.
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Old 02-27-2003, 09:19 PM   #3
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Hey thanks man good information for me just so long as i bs something im good.
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